Tuesday 28 November - Southport
and Hastings Caves
Our last day of touring in Tassy
and a reasonably well paced quiet day too before we
leave tomorrow. Today features both the Ida Bay Railway and Hastings Caves.
About 10 minutes from our accommodation there was a
little Heritage listed site called the Ida Bay
Railway. It was a 10am train departure from Ida
Bay to the "depot" 7 km up the shore. We
promptly arrived at 9:30am to get out tickets and so
did everyone else. Popular.
Pictured below is the station.
Before we left we were able to get plenty of photos
and here is one of David standing proudly in front of
the train. Get a load of the train. It was
a mining train from the 1920's and said to be the last
operating bush tramway in Tasmania and the most
southerly railway in Australia.
Toot! Toot! We are off.... sounds more
like a tractor.... through the level crossing!!! Ding,
ding, ding ding....toot toot toot toot toot!
And we chug away at about 10-12 km per hour....
bouncing along. Take note of the safety chains
stopping us from falling out.
We had a stop along the way ......a small grave yard.
A 19 year old who died when a tree fell on him in 1888
and a young boy 14 who met a rather gruesome death
with some machinery. There was also a young
girls grave and other unmarked graves that were
here is the remains of a jetty that was used for
shipping out the ore.
Then a final
stop when we got to "the depot" (pictured
below) Looking back at the train in
the "station" from what used to be the long track 50m
into the bay to load ships. Behind the train is
a shelter for BBQs and a resident tiger snake!
While at the other terminus, David has a good time...
getting the point.
Denise and David share a moment on the ride back to
the home station. It was a "cute" train ride.
We had a quick bite to eat at the Ida Bay Railway cafe
(not much choice around here - only one two places to
eat for about 30km around), then we ventured up the
road to Hastings Caves. We can just make the
1:15pm tour if we hurry. With tickets in
hand which include entry to the mineral thermal baths
we had another 15 minute drive from the information
centre to the falls and a five minute brisk walk UP to
the caves along this trail (pictured below)
Our cave tour operator Donna greeted us right on time
and .... after after our 50 step climb to get the
opening, she informed us that there were 500 steps (up
and down) on this tour. It featured three major
huge caverns with many features. We have clocked
up quite a few cave tours over the years and we are familiar
with what to expect but this cavernous example was gob
The wedding cake
and the Cathedral.
Denise and David enjoyed the tour immensely. We
had earned a relaxing soak at the Thermal Springs
Dinner at the local pub again tonight. The
portions are so big that we may get an entree and a
main course to share between us.
That just about takes us out from our fabulous Tassie
holiday. Just some repacking and flying home
tomorrow. Let's hope Den can get all the
washing dry from yesterday.
Wednesday 29 November - Southport
to Hobart to Melbourne
Early morning drive to Hobart Airport
For a lunchtime flight home
and see you in another 39 years for our 78th wedding
Hope you have enjoyed touring Tassie with us. It
was just like being there!